Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The Maryland Court of Appeals imposed an indefinite suspension in a case where the attorney (who had no record of prior discipline) was appointed as co-personal representative of the estate of a close personal friend. The attorney apparently had little estate experience and, as a result, was removed and ordered to turn over estate assets. Rather than comply, the attorney filed motions for reconsideration and appeals all the way to the Court of Appeals, which had denied review. The attorney also had taken $6,000 in fees without seeking required court approval.
Here, the court concluded that the "misconduct was not due to greed or dishonesty, but rather due to obstinateness and incompetence in probate matters. Respondent's inability to accept responsibility in the mishandling of the Estate leaves much to be desired." The attorney may not seek reinstatement until full restitution is made to the estate. (Mike Frisch)